The storefront of the Poverty Bay Cafe by FUSION was damaged by a vehicle early Oct. 27. Photo provided by FUSION.

The storefront of the Poverty Bay Cafe by FUSION was damaged by a vehicle early Oct. 27. Photo provided by FUSION.

Individuals crash vehicle into Federal Way's Poverty Bay Cafe

Security video footage shows truck backing into building causing $20,000 to $30,000 of damage

At 3:30 a.m. Oct. 27, three individuals crashed a vehicle into the front of Poverty Bay Cafe in Federal Way, shattering the glass that made up the storefront and damaging the frame.

Security video footage from Poverty Bay shows that the individuals backed a truck with no license plates into the building. They entered the premises, but were unable to access anything of great value.

“We do a really good job of locking everything up, so they ransacked the office and the drawers, and they went through everything in the building,” FUSION Executive Director David Harrison told The Federal Way Mirror newspaper. “Once they realized there’s nothing here to take, they grabbed two Cokes, got back in the truck, and drove away.”

Poverty Bay Cafe closed during the pandemic but has since reopened under the management of local nonprofit FUSION at 1108 S. 322nd Place.

The organization also owns and operates the home goods boutique next door, and the proceeds of both businesses go toward FUSION’s work to serve homeless families in Federal Way. The cafe has been a staple in Federal Way since 1989, and reopened on April 1 of this year.

“The community has rediscovered Poverty Bay and we’re very grateful for all of the people who’ve been returning customers and new customers. This is a little bump in the road, but we’ll be reopened again tomorrow,” Harrison said in an interview on Oct. 27.

After the Poverty Bay Cafe staff saw the damage when they arrived to work at 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning, they called local police. In a press release, FUSION and the cafe said that “the Federal Way Police Department arrived and reviewed security camera footage and documented the incident. Their response was quick, efficient, and greatly appreciated.”

The damage to the building is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000, according to Harrison. Contractors from Metropolitan Contracting LLC were already at work on a temporary storefront less than 12 hours after the incident, allowing the cafe to only lose one day of business.

In a statement from FUSION and Poverty Bay Cafe, the organization encouraged people to reach out if they need help.

“We are an organization dedicated to providing support and housing to families in our community who are experiencing homelessness. Turning to crime and theft is not the answer,” they said in the press release. “We understand the desperation that can push individuals to make the wrong choices, and we urge anyone who needs a helping hand to take advantage of our resources. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to us at FusionHousing.org/contact.”

The cafe has another level of impact aside from the proceeds of sales. Using a model similar to the FareStart program in Seattle, Harrison said that FUSION is already utilizing the cafe as a job training program to help people gain skills and experience. Culinary and customer service skills training will be another way to help community members find long-term stability.

There are already four people getting job skills training at Poverty Bay Cafe and the full program will launch after the first of the year.

Harrison said the goal has been to “get the cafe reopened and get it stabilized and ideally to break even. We are approaching that.” On the importance of the program itself, Harrison said: “It’s a tool for us to do something bigger.”

The cafe was already back open on Saturday, Oct. 28, with regular hours, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentnews.us.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://kentnews.us/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Contractors worked to create a temporary storefront in order to allow the business to reopen as quickly as possible. Photo provided by FUSION.

Contractors worked to create a temporary storefront in order to allow the business to reopen as quickly as possible. Photo provided by FUSION.

More in Northwest

Men serving halal food on Eid Mubarak 2024. Photo By Joshua Solorzano/Federal Way Mirror
Washington state passes Halal Food Consumer Protection Act

Federal Way Muslim activist details how this bill came about and why it is important

t
Head-on collision kills 31-year-old woman in Auburn

The fatal collision occurred May 11 in the area of I Street Northeast in north Auburn.

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Reyna Hernandez (right) with her mother. Photo Courtesy of Ivonne Carillo-Hernandez
Friends of Renton's Reyna Hernandez detail her cheerful character

Friends in Renton considered her family and saw some warning signs of abuse prior to her murder.

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Man receives one month jail sentence in fatal Renton hit-and-run

2020 crash killed 16-year-old boy on motorcycle along Interstate 405; mother objects to plea deal

t
Investigators bust drug trafficking operation in King County

Thousands of fentanyl pills reportedly were kept at a Federal Way storage facility.

t
Is state school board association seeing a conservative takeover?

Anonymous members say changes in the group’s voting rules are allowing anti-LGBTQIA+ measures

t
Man charged with first-degree murder of Renton businesswoman

Accused Louis Hernandez was Reyna Hernandez’s partner, according to Renton Police.

Food in a foam takeout container.  file photo
Foam coolers, takeout containers will be banned in WA

The prohibition on the sale and distribution of these products will take effect June 1 under a law the Legislature approved in 2021.

t
Federal Way Public Market concept receives $75,000 for study

The home of the envisioned project is off South 320th Street and 23rd Avenue South.

t
Suspected DUI crash in Renton injures three; cars engulfed in flames

Wrong-way driver incident along Interstate 405 on April 14